Presbyterian minister conducts missionary work in Middle East for refugees

CLAYTON, MO (KPLR) - Randy Mayfield, a pastor at Central Presbyterian Church in Clayton, tells the story of his journeys to Iraq thru pictures. Friday will mark his seventh trip to the Middle East.

“I take two to three men with me,” Mayfield said. “It's a mission out of Central Presbyterian Church. We have probably 10 to 12 a year, so every month we're somewhere. And Iraq has been one of our big areas, especially all of the refugees present there.”

Mayfield said many of the refugees they help are Syrians fleeing ISIS.

“There's Syrians, Iraqis from parts of Iraq. There's Yezidis, that's an interesting group. They have some pretty strange beliefs, but they're people in need, so we help them.”

Pastor Mayfield said his journey to Iraq is part missionary trip, part job training, and part diplomacy.

“So we have the tangible things, and then the training center we started two years ago, that actually trains these refugees to do things like cut hair and sew, so they can go back into the camps and make a living,” Mayfield said.

And Mayfield said conversion to Christianity is not a condition for helping the refugees.

“My job is just to care for people and take the message there,” said Mayfield. “And a lot of the people we work with don't come to Christ. That's okay. We're helping them live; we're helping them get through life. And many of them have come to Christ. We actually have some Iranians there that have come over.”

Mayfield and his group leave Friday and they plan to be gone for two weeks.